had a 3am vision as my eyes stared into darkness and my heart attempted to beat itself out of my chest. a photo of myself sitting atop a red rock mountain with two of my oldest flashed through memory. they were toddlers and i remembered laughing as each boy grasped tightly to my waist, afraid they’d fall otherwise. i would turn out to be the only one smiling in the photo.

eventually they let go, and is each is now climbing their own mountains. it is nice to see laughter along the way because joy shouldn’t be saved for interval peaks. i don’t think parents achieve anything so ominous and promising as closure whether their child is dead or alive. the best moments of parenting include having a waist and making it clear it can be grasped at any time. a strong stomach is needed to balance a soft heart.

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